Cooties and GeeksUniqueness didn't win us any personality contests. We weren't all labeled as the cooties, nerds, or geeks, but some of our actions or personalities were looked upon as different. Others found our ideas bizarre or goofy enough times that some of us eventually found it more comfortable to turn ourselves inward, hiding our unique selves from further scrutiny and possible ridicule.
The Slam BookWhen I attended junior high school there was a nasty fad going around among the girl students. Although, "The Slam Book" fad was started by one of the popular crowds it quickly grew more wide spread. Each girl would buy herself a spiral notebook and each page would be assigned to one classmate. The book would be passed around among her friends. Each friend was to write out a "negative" sentence or two on each page relating to a particular person. The objective was to put the person down... OR to "SLAM" them. "Sarah is a fat slob who chews her food with her mouth open, or Brent's breath smells like sweaty gym socks" ..... etc. These are mild examples from what I had heard of SLAMS rumored. Needless to say, there were a lot of hurtful words written down. It was a hateful fad and one I'm grateful to say that I never participated in.
As far as I know, my name never appeared in any of those notebooks. I was a quiet girl who kept to myself, few people took notice of me one way or another in the school. Looking back at that time I realize it is just as well that I wasn't noticed, because I don't know that I could have withstood being made fun of in this manner. I was extremely sensitive as a child and took things to heart. Meanness would hurt me to the core. As it was, I was already being affected negatively by merely noticing the harm done to my fellow classmates. It was disheartening and regretful.
I think this may have been the exact time (age 12) when I first realized that I was a square peg. I wasn't popular, nor was I unpopular. I suppose I might as well have been invisible. This is when I became square-peg challenged to begin looking at a personal issue. This involved a conflicting desires of wanting to be noticed favorably VS not wanting to be seen negatively.
"Where do I fit in?" says the square peg while overlooking a peg board full of round holes. "Not here" says the world at large, so the square peg journeys endlessly in search of somewhere outside of the world to fit in... ultimately seeking inward.Each 'square peg' that I've spoken with has a similar story to share which set them apart from others. Square pegs are gradually uniting. We are sharing the insights our seeking adventures have awarded us, ever growing and expanding our awareness and inner knowings.
Square Pegs Become SeekersFor square pegs, "seeking" becomes a driving passion that may very well continue throughout a lifetime. Whereas, a round peg having found a sharp edge which he feel needs smoothed will walk along the same well-trodden seeker pathways temporarily. No matter if you are square pegged or only slightly jagged edged, I hope you will discover the okay-ness of not being perfectly rounded, deciding to embrace your imperfections and oddities. We may feel as if we don't fit into the world any better than that over-sized hand-me-down jacket fit us when we were a kid. But we must not forget how that jacket kept us warm and guarded from the harsh elements. The world offers us shelter and provisions. This planet is our home while we wear our human garment, and although we may not always feel as if there is a place in it we fit into, our spirits do belong here.
Article Dateline: February 2001 (revised 8/08)